Yo, check it out Playa. Iz got some pimpin’ stripes on my ride fo shizzle.
Thanks to a post I saw on the modelcarsmag forum a while ago, I’ve been trying my hand at pinstriping. My first effort was on my ’82 Corvette Snap-kit and was pretty simple. I tried a few designs but failed every time I had the tape crossing over itself. So this time I wanted to push myself. You only get better by doing something new, right?
I searched the web for pinstripe designs and using what I saw, I came up with my own design – one for the hood and one for the trunk. LOTS of cross-overs in these designs, so I was nervous during the whole experience. The problem with pinstriping is that you can’t check it as you go. Once you remove that tape, the process ends, so you have to leave it there until the piece is completely painted and ready for polishing or clear coats. It’s a scary time.
The process can be quite laborious and frustrating. To start, I prepped ALL of the pieces (hood, trunk, body, doors, mirrors) that will end up purple just like I would for any normal paintjob (clear flash, injection pins, etc and wash).
Next I primed all the pieces and the applied TWO coats of the gold. The reason I did this is that I didn’t want the finish of the hood and trunk to be different from the rest of the body, since it would have gold underneath the purple.
After applying colour, I gave it a good coat of clear. This allows the gold to seal a bit and not be too effected by the tape. Once all that was dry, I used Tamiya tape for the masking. To get really thin striping tape, tape two #11 blades together. In this instance, I put a piece of paper between them to open them out a little bit. Then use a ruler to cut along the Tamiya tape. My tip here is to use 1 long piece of Tamiya tape so that the striping piece you cut is a uniform width. If you use a shorter piece of tape and cut multiple striping pieces, they will be slightly different widths.
With the striping tape cut, I very carefully laid out the designs. This gets REALLY frustrating, especially since my designs are symmetrical, so all the angles need to be as perfect as possible. You can see in the photos that I didn’t succeed 100%
My tip for applying the tape is: burnish, burnish, burnish. If you don’t know what that means, it’s simply ensuring the tape is stuck down as firm as possible. You can use your fingernail or any other device that that can press the tape down firmly.
When you have pieces that cross-over, make sure that you burnish the top piece all the way to the edges of the bottom piece. If there are ANY gaps, paint will get in and ruin your striping. I used my fingernail to make sure it’s super tight.
You need to make sure that each length of tape is a single piece. To explain, look at the right side of the hood. See the long piece that goes from the bottom right of the design to the top right? That’s a single length. But the small, curved bits nearest to the centre line are separate pieces. So each side of the hood has 8 pieces. All the points have one piece of tape on top of another, and I used a VERY sharp knife to bring those ends to a point.
I then left the tape to “cure” overnight. The longer tape is stuck to a surface, the stronger it becomes, and this helps with preventing bleeding of paint. Next, I painted ALL the appropriate pieces purple (hood, trunk, body, doors & mirrors) as for a normal paintob (I do a mist coat, medium-wet coat and then full-wet coat). My tip is to paint all pieces that are to be the same colour, at the same time. This helps prevent issues like the weather effecting the final colour.
I waited until the paint was touch-dry and then VERY gently removed the tape. By removing the tape before the paint is completely dry, it remains a little bit pliable, preventing any damage as you remove the tape. To get the tape off, I used the point of my #11 blade to VERY gently lift an end and the used tweezers to SLOWLY and GENTLY lift one piece of tape at a time, paying special attention to any cross-over areas as I went.
Once all the tape is removed (and I finished smiling) I let the paint dry completely and then applied a few coats of clear. Usually, I would polish the paint, but I tried sanding the gold paint before the striping and it went funny, so I don’t want to risk it. But I think clear coating this car will still look good.
The next post on this car will show the, hopefully shag-flocked interior.